Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Savory memories

The national flower of Singapore
Monday, September 15.15
The week begins back in Bandung after 2 weeks of teaching in Singapore. What a great bunch of students we had! We complete classwork on Friday.

W and Kirsten do a lot of looking around the city. I'm mostly revamping my teaching material, getting it ready for the next day. The course is a new one for me. Next time around will be much easier!
Ducks hanging in the kitchen
of a fantastic Chinese restaurant,
where we enjoyed a meal Tuesday
Arab Street: colorful wheeling and dealing
I do make it to Arab Street on Thursday evening.

Street mosaics tell stories from Arab traditions

We eat great food at our favorite Indian diner, choosing a table on a side street with less traffic passing by.

Mutton briyani and curry sauce - fabulous
The grand mosque near Arab Street
Talking to the vendor
We haven't seen the former admin at the school for a few years. She calls early in the week and takes us to lunch after classes are over. It's nice to see her again. One of W's student and her husband join us. We talk and talk - and what a spread at the restaurant!

We fly home. We're supposed to be in Bandung by 11:30 but the flight is delayed on the runway and we turn back to the gate. The attendants open the door but will not let us out. Jakarta has denied the plane permission to land in Bandung: there's an air show going on - our initial delay (45 minutes before we got on the plane) has put us outside the window of landing between demonstrations. 

One last goodbye: free foot massage machines at Changi Airport (Singapore)
We sit at the gate for over an hour and are cleared to take off two hours behind schedule. It's nice to be met at the Bandung airport - we have no trouble at immigration after getting a visa-on-arrival and the car is waiting. We have to walk for a block: the regular parking is packed out. 

Our driver is parked behind other cars in one of the driving lanes. Cars go around until we pull out and creep to the gate to pay. It's a good business: it sometimes takes 10-30 minutes to get out of the parking lot - which often puts us into the next hour's fee.

Sabbath. Rest. While we were away, the friends upstairs have moved into a village house to make language learning easier. 

But Paula has been in agony with a sore neck all week. Massages, a chiropractor, and two doctors haven't helped. She and David fly to Singapore for medical treatment. We pray.

It's a delight to be back studying with R. We discuss some questions about sharing Jesus with others and look at Mark 5. That's always a difficult passage to read - the woman touches the hem of Jesus' cloak and is healed. How can we touch Him on Kirsten's behalf? We continue to pray and appeal for healing.

Later, we introduce Kirsten to Maxi's, a neighborhood restaurant where many locals have birthday parties and other celebrations. Mosts meals cost $2-7. There's a wedding going on in one of the rooms - and below our balcony table, a horse and its minder take little kids for a ride. It's about 70c for a pony ride. Some parents accompany their children, walking alongside. Others just let the cowboys take the kids and come back.

Pony rides
At the next table, a group of gals hang out, laughing and celebrating.
I signed up for an art print project a few months ago. The deal is this: make and send 11 theme-related prints to the art center to get 10 back. The art group keeps their favorite one and divides the rest among participants. It's due to be mailed tomorrow.

The theme this year is "From a Distant Shore." I paint eyes on 12 pieces of art paper and print over them - alphabets, shapes, and colors. Here's one I sent off:
The Golden Mean
 The balance and chaos
of learning a new language.
Knowing is golden
but not straightforward.
Letters floating.
Eyes watching.
Gradually flowering.

We harvest a jackfruit from the tree beside the driveway. Ibu A cuts the peel off, careful not to touch the sap. (The white sap can be used as glue - it looks a bit like Elmer's All-Purpose glue.) Ibu A wipes the sap off with a piece of newspaper as she goes around the 14" fruit. 
Then Ibu A cuts out the core and chops the fruit into pieces. The core is keras or hard. But the flesh around the seeds shreds into strips as she touches it. She washes the pieces and puts them on the stove to boil in water. She wipes the sap off her hands with cooking oil. Tidak air, she says - you can't wash it off with water.

When she's done, it's a feast of curry spices and peppers. We eat it over rice, stirring in salad bar fixings (bean sprouts, cucumber, lettuce, apples, and other veges). Probably not the way the Sundas eat it, but it's delicious. The oxtail I splurged $4 on is hard: it didn't cook long enough but its flavors infuse the dish.

Read more:
*So Abram went, as the Lord had told him. Genesis 12:4 ESV

*Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. Isaiah 55:3 ESV

*Jesus asks, “But who do you say that I am?” Mark 8:29 ESV

*If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:31–32 ESV

*By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and set out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 ESV

Moravian Prayer: God of Abraham, you call each of us to follow you, though we often do not know the way. Give us faith to go, and give us trust in your guidance.

Author of our faith, let us hear you when you impart your truth to us through your word. Let us live faithfully as your disciples, listening to your will for our lives, and freely following where you lead. Amen.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

On feeling: And of course the presence of God is not the same as the sense of the presence of God. The latter may be due to imagination; the former may be attended with no “sensible consolation.” The Father was not really absent from the Son when He said “Why hast thou forsaken me?” You see God Himself, as man, submitted to man’s sense of being abandoned. The real parallel on the natural level is one which seems odd for a bachelor to write to a lady, but too illuminating not to be used. The act which engenders a child ought to be, and usually is attended by pleasure. But it is not the pleasure that produces the child. Where there is pleasure there may be sterility: where there is no pleasure the act may be fertile.

And in the spiritual marriage of God and the soul it is the same. It is the actual presence, not the sensation of the presence, of the Holy Ghost which begets Christ in us. The sense of the presence is a super-added gift for which we give thanks when it comes, and that’s all about it.

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